A breastfeeding senator has made Australian political history by becoming the first woman to nurse her newborn baby in the nation’s parliament.
“We need more #women & parents in Parli #auspol“, Waters wrote on Twitter.
Parliamentary rules were changed past year to create a more “family friendly” environment. And breastfeeding mothers were given a proxy vote.
Labour Senator Katy Gallagher said it was an important step forward. While announcing her daughter’s birth on March 7, the parliamentarian even hinted at the possibility she would breastfeed in Parliament upon her return. Sarah Hanson-Young’s two-year-old daughter was forcibly taken from her mother’s arms and removed from the Senate.
We’re always thrilled to hear about women in the public eye who aren’t afraid to normalize breastfeeding. Senator Larissa Waters brought her daughter, Alia, to work, and when the healthy, growing baby needed to eat, Waters latched her-in the chamber.
In 2003 Member of Parliament in the Victorian Legislative Assembly Kirstie Marshall was ejected from the Lower House chamber for breastfeeding her 11-day-old baby.
Larissa has changed her Facebook profile to an image of her breastfeeding in Parliament, attracting dozens of mostly positive comments.
She continued: “Instead of highlighting babies at work, I wish we would put more effort into longer and paid leave, better and more affordable childcare and more flexible and remote work options”. Alia accompanied her mom to work, and when she was hungry, Waters fed her from where she Saturday.
Although politicians in Australia have been allowed to breastfeed in the Senate since 2003, MPs in the House of Representatives could take babies only into parliamentary offices or public galleries until past year.
On Tuesday, Waters followed up the historic feeding with a jubilant tweet – and a call for more parents to join Parliament. After she breastfed her infant son Diego in parliament, other politicians referred to the move as “lamentable” and “frankly unnecessary”.